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Small Business and Word of
  Mouth – Why it works

          Bill Balderaz
          Amy Marshall
        Webbed Marketing
     www.webbedmarketing.com
Agenda

• Why WOM works for Small Business
• Planning a WOM episode for Small Business
• An approach to tracking WOM
• Small Business WOM case studies




                        Slide 2
WOM is Good for Small Businesses

• Fast
• Flexible
• Willing to experiment
• Gutsy
• Limited budget




                          Slide 3
Small Businesses are Fast

• Make decisions quick
• Moderate approval processes
• No “brand police”
• Acting quickly is critical for WOM strategies




                          Slide 4
Small Businesses are Flexible and
      Willing to Experiment
• Less to loose as a big brand
• Results driven
• Motivated to have customers create content
  because of limited bandwidth
• Take more risks on edgy content




                       Slide 5
Small Businesses are Gutsy

• Thick skin for negative comments and can respond
  quickly
• Able to “let go” of conversations
• Engage in customer conversations




                       Slide 6
Small Businesses Have Small Budgets

• Can’t always afford expensive, traditional media
• WOM is less expensive per impression
• Measurement is tangible




                        Slide 7
Planning a Word of Mouth
Episode for Small Business
Clear Goals

• Can’t measure “more buzz”
• Define measurable metrics – 16 media placements,
  40 relevant links, increase sales 12%
• Take baseline metrics before campaign starts
    SEO   metrics, Social Media metrics
• Break metrics down into quantifiable goals
    Mentions   in blogs, social networks, links to the site…
• Small businesses can quantify metrics easily




                              Slide 9
Determine the Hook

• Set goals before determining the “hook”
• Questionnaire to determine need – What gets the
  participants excited
• Examples: Free sample, white paper, video,
  online calculator/application, stunt




                       Slide 10
Determine Distribution Plan

• Earn your way into distribution
• Avoid word “Free”
• Small businesses tend to have a small niche – look
  for specialized networks or “celebrity” bloggers
  that don’t often get pitched
• Rate the value of each participant and determine
  the pitch




                        Slide 11
Determine Distribution Plan

• Think in terms of most efficient coverage
• Examples: Pitch a blogger, obtain a following on
  MySpace/Facebook, use tagging sites, Tweet to
  your target, make new connections on LinkedIn
  build a presence on targeted social networks
• Great Content+Great Distribution=Great Word of
  Mouth




                        Slide 12
An Approach to Tracking
        WOM

        Scorecard
The Webbed Marketing Scorecard




             Slide 14
The Webbed Marketing Scorecard

• Tracks “micro goals” that funnel into strategic
  goals
• In bound links, blog mentions, presence on social
  networks, traffic numbers, web mentions and
  other measurable metrics funnel into strategic
  goals
• Provide real evidence of measurable improvement
• Provide direction on where to focus efforts




                        Slide 15
Small Business WOM                      Case
           Studies

             Moochie & Company
         Suburban Cylinder Propane
                 Blossom4Girls
   Shizuka Spa – aka “The Bird Poop Facial”
Moochie & Co.

• A high end start up specialty web and mall pet gift
  and accessories retailer
• Highly targeted market, highly competitive
  industry, limited advertising budget
• Consumers and influencers are heavy web users




                         Slide 17
Moochie & Co.

• Press releases timed with high search volume, high
  media attention topics
    “I Love My Mommy” tshirt near Mother’s Day
    “Take Your Dog to Work” campaign
    “I Have Two Daddies” campaign
    “MySpace for Cats & Dogs”

• Highly targeted market, highly competitive
  industry, limited advertising budget




                         Slide 18
Moochie & Co.




     Slide 19
Moochie & Co.




     Slide 20
Suburban Cylinder Propane

• Decidedly “unsexy” topic
• Difficult to explain to consumers
• Opportunity to use humor
• Leverage an icon everyone knows




                        Slide 21
Suburban Cylinder Propane

• Create phony awards ceremony
• Disgruntled Tooth Fairy speaks out
• Distributed via press releases (one outlet published
  it as a “real” release!), on social networks and
  direct to “grilling” influencers
• The Propane Fairy developed a fan base




                         Slide 22
Suburban Cylinder Propane




           Slide 23
Blossom4Girls

• Highly competitive space
• Unknown brand
• Limited advertising budget




                        Slide 24
Blossom4Girls

• Take advantage of existing buzz around High
  School Musical
• Take advantage of “School’s Out” stories being
  published
• Stay true to brand image
• Hold contest for Blossom4Girls Party




                        Slide 25
Blossom4Girls
                                            Metric
                                                 May 2008     
   June 2008 
Traffic Rank (3 mo average)                                                                         2,905,495    
    602,403 
                                                          
This metric ranks websites in terms of overall traffic. Note: Yahoo! is number 1 in the Alexa
     ranking. The lower the number, the higher the traffic.


In Bound Links Indexed by Yahoo!
This approximate metric tracks how many Yahoo! indexed sites link to the domain.    
                   
7               
                                                                                                                        84



Alexa Page views per user
This metric measures the average number of pages viewed by human visitors.      
                        
                                                                                                        6.5              
                                                                                                                        8.6



Webbed-O-Meter Buzz Measurement
This category combines mentions on blogs, forums and other consumer generated content
                                                                                                         
                                                                                                        2.2              
                                                                                                                        5.6


           
     sites to decide a site’s “buzz” factor. The scale is 1 to 100 with 100 being the highest
     score.




                                                                            Web (IceRocket)
                                                                             “Blossom4Girls”
                                                                     “www.blossom4girls.com”    
         
                                                                                                        197
                                                                                                        157              
                                                                                                                       1,250
                                                                                                                        548


                                                                               Web (Google)
                                                                             “Blossom4Girls”
                                                                     “www.blossom4girls.com”    
                        
                                                                                                                       1,260
                                                                                                                        555


                                                               Compete.com Traffic numbers
                                                                                     People
                                                                                      Visits    
            
                                                                                                    Insufficient
                                                                                                       data
                                                                                                                       3,441
                                                                                                                      10,162  
                                                                          Quantcast numbers
                                                                                   US Reach
                                                                                       Rank     
            
                                                                                                    Insufficient
                                                                                                       data
                                                                                                                       2,163
                                                                                                                      526,739 


                                                                                Slide 26
Shizuka New York

• Located in Midtown Manhattan
• Cosmetology & skin care with “Eastern Holistic
  Knowledge”
• Featured in international media including Marie
  Claire, Shape, Vogue, and Harpers Bazaar




                        Slide 27
Shizuka New York

• Following Word of Mouth program:
    Mention on Jay Leno
    Mention on CNN
    Home page of CNN.com
    E! “The Soup”
    The Hollywood Reporter




                         Slide 28
With a Compelling Hook

• Highlighting “Bird Poop Facials”




                        Slide 29
The Right Channels

• SEO Press Release
• Blogger Outreach
• Video
• Social Networks




                      Slide 30
And Goals

• Branding and awareness
• Increased site traffic
• New clients




                       Slide 31
SEO Press Release




       Slide 32
SEO Press Release




       Slide 33
SEO Press Release




       Slide 34
SEO Press Release

Google News results were at two at the beginning of May and are
now at 433




                               Slide 35
Blogger Outreach

• Identify bloggers in key categories:
    Already talking
    Skin Care
    Pop Culture
    News of the Weird




                         Slide 36
Blogger Outreach

• Read the blog!
• Clearly identify who you are
• Tailor your message
• Provide only relevant content
• Ask yourself again before you hit “send”




                        Slide 37
Blogger Outreach




      Slide 38
Blogger Outreach




      Slide 39
Blogger Outreach

•  Responses have been positive.
      “Many thanks for the information...sounds very interesting
       and I will look into it.”
      “Thanks for writing us! We'd be happy to feature your video
       - do you have embeddable code for it?”
      “Thanks much - I will take a look.”




                              Slide 40
Video

• Spoof interview produced
• Uploaded to YouTube
• Embedded in press release
• Sent to bloggers




                       Slide 41
Video

•  The YouTube Geisha Facial video – 13,000+ views




                               Slide 42
Social Networks

• Use social networks to connect with influencers,
  reporters and consumers:
    StumbleUpon
    Mixx
    Digg
    MySpace




                        Slide 43
Social Networks




      Slide 44
Social Networks
    •  Since Mid-May, sites sending traffic to ShizukaNY.com
       have been from the PR and WOM efforts

Source                             Pages/Visit         % New Visits

stumbleupon.com                        1.17               98%

prweb.com                              3.15               81%

newyork.citysearch.com                 3.88               90%

beauty.ivillage.com                    2.11               98%

spafinder.com                          3.49               79%

cnbc.com                               1.51               21%

elvacilon.lamusica.com                 2.21               94%

mizfitonline.com                       1.04              100%

mixx.com                               1.05               93%




                                 Slide 45
Social Networks
•  46% of site traffic in May and June came from Social
   Networks, including StumbleUpon, Mixx, YouTube and
   Digg




                           Slide 46
Other Results

• Site traffic
• Inbound links
• Web results




                       Slide 47
Site Traffic
•  From March to June traffic increased more than 60%
•  Traffic increased from all sources
•  Inbound links increased from 529 to 1,109




                            Slide 48
Web Results

Ice Rocket web results were at 3,960 at the beginning of
May and are now up to 20,700




                           Slide 49
Summary

• Start with a strategic goal (more sales, leads, or
  media awareness)
• Break those into measurable “micro-
  goals” (inbound links, website traffic, blogger
  mentions)
• Create a baseline scorecard
• Correlate progress against the strategic against
  progress on “micro-goals”




                         Slide 50

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Small Business and Word of Mouth - Why it works

  • 1. Small Business and Word of Mouth – Why it works Bill Balderaz Amy Marshall Webbed Marketing www.webbedmarketing.com
  • 2. Agenda • Why WOM works for Small Business • Planning a WOM episode for Small Business • An approach to tracking WOM • Small Business WOM case studies Slide 2
  • 3. WOM is Good for Small Businesses • Fast • Flexible • Willing to experiment • Gutsy • Limited budget Slide 3
  • 4. Small Businesses are Fast • Make decisions quick • Moderate approval processes • No “brand police” • Acting quickly is critical for WOM strategies Slide 4
  • 5. Small Businesses are Flexible and Willing to Experiment • Less to loose as a big brand • Results driven • Motivated to have customers create content because of limited bandwidth • Take more risks on edgy content Slide 5
  • 6. Small Businesses are Gutsy • Thick skin for negative comments and can respond quickly • Able to “let go” of conversations • Engage in customer conversations Slide 6
  • 7. Small Businesses Have Small Budgets • Can’t always afford expensive, traditional media • WOM is less expensive per impression • Measurement is tangible Slide 7
  • 8. Planning a Word of Mouth Episode for Small Business
  • 9. Clear Goals • Can’t measure “more buzz” • Define measurable metrics – 16 media placements, 40 relevant links, increase sales 12% • Take baseline metrics before campaign starts   SEO metrics, Social Media metrics • Break metrics down into quantifiable goals   Mentions in blogs, social networks, links to the site… • Small businesses can quantify metrics easily Slide 9
  • 10. Determine the Hook • Set goals before determining the “hook” • Questionnaire to determine need – What gets the participants excited • Examples: Free sample, white paper, video, online calculator/application, stunt Slide 10
  • 11. Determine Distribution Plan • Earn your way into distribution • Avoid word “Free” • Small businesses tend to have a small niche – look for specialized networks or “celebrity” bloggers that don’t often get pitched • Rate the value of each participant and determine the pitch Slide 11
  • 12. Determine Distribution Plan • Think in terms of most efficient coverage • Examples: Pitch a blogger, obtain a following on MySpace/Facebook, use tagging sites, Tweet to your target, make new connections on LinkedIn build a presence on targeted social networks • Great Content+Great Distribution=Great Word of Mouth Slide 12
  • 13. An Approach to Tracking WOM Scorecard
  • 14. The Webbed Marketing Scorecard Slide 14
  • 15. The Webbed Marketing Scorecard • Tracks “micro goals” that funnel into strategic goals • In bound links, blog mentions, presence on social networks, traffic numbers, web mentions and other measurable metrics funnel into strategic goals • Provide real evidence of measurable improvement • Provide direction on where to focus efforts Slide 15
  • 16. Small Business WOM Case Studies Moochie & Company Suburban Cylinder Propane Blossom4Girls Shizuka Spa – aka “The Bird Poop Facial”
  • 17. Moochie & Co. • A high end start up specialty web and mall pet gift and accessories retailer • Highly targeted market, highly competitive industry, limited advertising budget • Consumers and influencers are heavy web users Slide 17
  • 18. Moochie & Co. • Press releases timed with high search volume, high media attention topics   “I Love My Mommy” tshirt near Mother’s Day   “Take Your Dog to Work” campaign   “I Have Two Daddies” campaign   “MySpace for Cats & Dogs” • Highly targeted market, highly competitive industry, limited advertising budget Slide 18
  • 19. Moochie & Co. Slide 19
  • 20. Moochie & Co. Slide 20
  • 21. Suburban Cylinder Propane • Decidedly “unsexy” topic • Difficult to explain to consumers • Opportunity to use humor • Leverage an icon everyone knows Slide 21
  • 22. Suburban Cylinder Propane • Create phony awards ceremony • Disgruntled Tooth Fairy speaks out • Distributed via press releases (one outlet published it as a “real” release!), on social networks and direct to “grilling” influencers • The Propane Fairy developed a fan base Slide 22
  • 24. Blossom4Girls • Highly competitive space • Unknown brand • Limited advertising budget Slide 24
  • 25. Blossom4Girls • Take advantage of existing buzz around High School Musical • Take advantage of “School’s Out” stories being published • Stay true to brand image • Hold contest for Blossom4Girls Party Slide 25
  • 26. Blossom4Girls Metric May 2008 June 2008 Traffic Rank (3 mo average) 2,905,495 602,403 This metric ranks websites in terms of overall traffic. Note: Yahoo! is number 1 in the Alexa ranking. The lower the number, the higher the traffic. In Bound Links Indexed by Yahoo! This approximate metric tracks how many Yahoo! indexed sites link to the domain. 7 84 Alexa Page views per user This metric measures the average number of pages viewed by human visitors. 6.5 8.6 Webbed-O-Meter Buzz Measurement This category combines mentions on blogs, forums and other consumer generated content 2.2 5.6 sites to decide a site’s “buzz” factor. The scale is 1 to 100 with 100 being the highest score. Web (IceRocket) “Blossom4Girls” “www.blossom4girls.com” 197 157 1,250 548 Web (Google) “Blossom4Girls” “www.blossom4girls.com” 1,260 555 Compete.com Traffic numbers People Visits Insufficient data 3,441 10,162 Quantcast numbers US Reach Rank Insufficient data 2,163 526,739 Slide 26
  • 27. Shizuka New York • Located in Midtown Manhattan • Cosmetology & skin care with “Eastern Holistic Knowledge” • Featured in international media including Marie Claire, Shape, Vogue, and Harpers Bazaar Slide 27
  • 28. Shizuka New York • Following Word of Mouth program:   Mention on Jay Leno   Mention on CNN   Home page of CNN.com   E! “The Soup”   The Hollywood Reporter Slide 28
  • 29. With a Compelling Hook • Highlighting “Bird Poop Facials” Slide 29
  • 30. The Right Channels • SEO Press Release • Blogger Outreach • Video • Social Networks Slide 30
  • 31. And Goals • Branding and awareness • Increased site traffic • New clients Slide 31
  • 32. SEO Press Release Slide 32
  • 33. SEO Press Release Slide 33
  • 34. SEO Press Release Slide 34
  • 35. SEO Press Release Google News results were at two at the beginning of May and are now at 433 Slide 35
  • 36. Blogger Outreach • Identify bloggers in key categories:   Already talking   Skin Care   Pop Culture   News of the Weird Slide 36
  • 37. Blogger Outreach • Read the blog! • Clearly identify who you are • Tailor your message • Provide only relevant content • Ask yourself again before you hit “send” Slide 37
  • 38. Blogger Outreach Slide 38
  • 39. Blogger Outreach Slide 39
  • 40. Blogger Outreach •  Responses have been positive.   “Many thanks for the information...sounds very interesting and I will look into it.”   “Thanks for writing us! We'd be happy to feature your video - do you have embeddable code for it?”   “Thanks much - I will take a look.” Slide 40
  • 41. Video • Spoof interview produced • Uploaded to YouTube • Embedded in press release • Sent to bloggers Slide 41
  • 42. Video •  The YouTube Geisha Facial video – 13,000+ views Slide 42
  • 43. Social Networks • Use social networks to connect with influencers, reporters and consumers:   StumbleUpon   Mixx   Digg   MySpace Slide 43
  • 44. Social Networks Slide 44
  • 45. Social Networks •  Since Mid-May, sites sending traffic to ShizukaNY.com have been from the PR and WOM efforts Source Pages/Visit % New Visits stumbleupon.com 1.17 98% prweb.com 3.15 81% newyork.citysearch.com 3.88 90% beauty.ivillage.com 2.11 98% spafinder.com 3.49 79% cnbc.com 1.51 21% elvacilon.lamusica.com 2.21 94% mizfitonline.com 1.04 100% mixx.com 1.05 93% Slide 45
  • 46. Social Networks •  46% of site traffic in May and June came from Social Networks, including StumbleUpon, Mixx, YouTube and Digg Slide 46
  • 47. Other Results • Site traffic • Inbound links • Web results Slide 47
  • 48. Site Traffic •  From March to June traffic increased more than 60% •  Traffic increased from all sources •  Inbound links increased from 529 to 1,109 Slide 48
  • 49. Web Results Ice Rocket web results were at 3,960 at the beginning of May and are now up to 20,700 Slide 49
  • 50. Summary • Start with a strategic goal (more sales, leads, or media awareness) • Break those into measurable “micro- goals” (inbound links, website traffic, blogger mentions) • Create a baseline scorecard • Correlate progress against the strategic against progress on “micro-goals” Slide 50